Old MacDonald uses math on his farm to be the best farmer he can be. Being a farmer, he takes on multiple roles in his business that are usually split up between many employees in other businesses. He takes on the responsibilities of accountant, executive management, workforce, and maintenance. In part 1, we looked at some of the simple ways that he has to look at finances when running a farm as a business. Old MacDonald has to be constantly vigilant to keep costs down and his revenue stream up. One way that he keeps costs down is to do his own maintenance and mechanic work whenever he can.
Many of the machines on a farm play critical roles. Without tractors, combines, trucks and implements, Old “Mac” wouldn’t be able to perform the day-to-day functions necessary to produce a profit. It’s very important that the equipment functions properly when needed. And many times, especially when weather is involved, he may need the equipment to perform flawlessly in a short window of time. A great example would be trying to harvest when a storm is brewing.
Because of the importance of his machinery, Old “Mac” constantly maintains and repairs his own equipment. This ensures him that everything is ready when it’s needed and it helps keep his costs down from having someone else work on it. Because of this, he has a general knowledge of mechanics and hydraulics.
Many of the machinery on the farm uses hydraulics. Most of his machines have pumps, motors and cylinders. It helps Old “Mac” to know how the items function. Being able to “backyard engineer” some of the equipment saves time and money.
It would be handy if Old MacDonald was familiar with the math of cylinder force, speed, and hydraulic horsepower. I’d bet he would give some engineers a run for their money on machine design.
Of course, there are the costs of duct tape and baling twine that have to be accounted for.
For more information on mechanical and hydraulic math, try some of the online calculators at CalcuNATION.